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Jovialis
28-06-18, 01:10
At any given time, people regularly return to a maximum of 25 places. This is the finding of a scientific study that reveals entirely new aspects of human behavior.


The study, titled "Evidence for a conserved quantity in human mobility' is published in Nature Human Behaviour is based on analyses of 40,000 people's mobile traces collected in four different datasets.


It is also the first of its kind to investigate people's mobility over time and study how their behavior changes.


Behind the project are Dr. Laura Alessandretti and Dr. Andrea Baronchelli, researchers in the Department of Mathematics at City, University of London, together with Professor Sune Lehmann from DTU Technical University of Denmark and the research team from Sony Mobile Communications.


"We first analysed the traces of about 1000 university students. The dataset showed that the students returned to a limited number of places, even though the places changed over time. I expected to see a difference in the behavior of students and a wide section of the population. But that was not the case. The result was the same when we scaled up the project to 40,000 people of different habits and gender from all over the world. It was not expected in advance. It came as a surprise," says Dr. Alessandretti.


Old places disappear


The study showed that people are constantly exploring new places. They move to a new home, find a new favorite restaurant, find a new bar, or start going to another gym, etc. However, the number of regularly visited places is constantly 25 in a given period. If a new place is added to the list, one of the places disappears.


The pattern is the same when the researchers divide the locations into categories based on how often and how long time they spend at the location.


"People are constantly balancing their curiosity and laziness. We want to explore new places but also want to exploit old ones that we like. Think of a restaurant or a gym. In doing so we adopt and abandon places all the time. We found that this dynamic yields an unexpected result: We visit a constant, fixed number of places—and it's not due to lack of time. We found evidence that this may be connected to other limits to our life, such as the number of active social interactions we can maintain in our life, but more research is in order to clarify this point," says Dr. Baronchelli


The study has connections with the findings of anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who demonstrated that there is a limit to how many friends we have. The work of Dr. Baronchelli and colleagues shows that those who have a tendency to visit many places are also likely to have many friends. The correlation between social behaviour and the number of locations has not been made this clearly before this research.


"Our research established a first formal connection between the study of human mobility and human social cognition. Clarifying this link will help us design better public spaces as well as better transportation systems. And ultimately facilitate the creation of more sustainable and healthy urban environment for all of us," Dr. Baronchelli adds.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-life-people.html#jCp


Makes sense, there's a limit to how many places you can go to, and it doesn't have to do with time. But there's a lot of different factors involved that curbs the amount of locations we frequent. There's a vast number of locations I can go to in my immediate area, being that I live in a megalopolis. But I am a creature of habit, and I tend to go to the same places pretty often.

Angela
28-06-18, 04:03
Makes sense, there's a limit to how many places you can go to, and it doesn't have to do with time. But there's a lot of different factors involved that curbs the amount of locations we frequent. There's a vast number of locations I can go to in my immediate area, being that I live in a megalopolis. But I am a creature of habit, and I tend to go to the same places pretty often.

Yes, I think that's what it is.

""People are constantly balancing their curiosity and laziness. We want to explore new places but also want to exploit old ones that we like. Think of a restaurant or a gym. In doing so we adopt and abandon places all the time. We found that this dynamic yields an unexpected result: We visit a constant, fixed number of places—and it's not due to lack of time. We found evidence that this may be connected to other limits to our life, such as the number of active social interactions we can maintain in our life, but more research is in order to clarify this point," says Dr. Baronchelli."

I suppose part of it is that we can't keep that many places in the forefront of our consciousness at any one time.

It's also, as you said, that we're creatures of habit. We don't want to have to think that much about every decision. That's why we tend to go where we're comfortable and known. How many "favorite" restaurants can you have? As for tailor, dry cleaner, drugstore, etc. you only need one. You're only going to change if you suddenly get bad service.

The more choices you have the more you can get confused. I don't like how huge our supermarkets have become, for example: thirty different types of cereal, who knows how many kinds of chips and crackers, and on and on. Then, I make it harder on myself in that I do go to a number of " food" places: "regular" grocery store, big box discount store, Italian import store, fruit and vegetable store, sometimes Whole Foods for organic.

You know what? I must have more than 25 places! :)

Jovialis
28-06-18, 04:26
Yes, I think that's what it is.

""People are constantly balancing their curiosity and laziness. We want to explore new places but also want to exploit old ones that we like. Think of a restaurant or a gym. In doing so we adopt and abandon places all the time. We found that this dynamic yields an unexpected result: We visit a constant, fixed number of places—and it's not due to lack of time. We found evidence that this may be connected to other limits to our life, such as the number of active social interactions we can maintain in our life, but more research is in order to clarify this point," says Dr. Baronchelli."

I suppose part of it is that we can't keep that many places in the forefront of our consciousness at any one time.

It's also, as you said, that we're creatures of habit. We don't want to have to think that much about every decision. That's why we tend to go where we're comfortable and known. How many "favorite" restaurants can you have? As for tailor, dry cleaner, drugstore, etc. you only need one. You're only going to change if you suddenly get bad service.

The more choices you have the more you can get confused. I don't like how huge our supermarkets have become, for example: thirty different types of cereal, who knows how many kinds of chips and crackers, and on and on. Then, I make it harder on myself in that I do go to a number of " food" places: "regular" grocery store, big box discount store, Italian import store, fruit and vegetable store, sometimes Whole Foods for organic.

You know what? I must have more than 25 places! :)

Completely agree, I tend to buy or order the same kinds of food from particular places. I have a set of "winners", and then eventually expand and try something new. For example, when I would go with my friends to eat at a diner, I will 9 times out of 10 get eggs sunnyside up, with bacon and home-fries. Sometimes I'll get eggs Benedict, and rarely I will get something totally new. I will scan the menu for as long as possible, but will usually end up with that. I feel like I have that approach to a lot of decisions like that, when presented with many options. Sometimes, I will stumble upon something new, it will click with me, and I will enjoy that for an extended period of time. I do it with music; I'll listen to a lot of the same songs, then something random will start playing on YouTube that really catches my ear, and it becomes part of my usual play list. Then it gradually evolves from there, into a new routine. I can see how the same could be applied to locations we frequent. Sometimes we just stumble upon them, and we take a liking to it.